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Etiquette

Do we have to send thank you cards to people who didn't give us a gift?

We had a surprising number of guests that simply didn't give us anything. 

Do we send them a thank you card? 

I'm having a hard time wanting to write them a card after we paid a ton of money to feed them and have an open bar and they didn't even give us something small! Literally nothing... is that rude?

In everyone else's card I wrote about what they got us and how we would use it - how grateful we were, etc. What do I say in a thank you card to someone who didn't get us anything?

Thanks!

Re: Do we have to send thank you cards to people who didn't give us a gift?

  • I would NEVER go to a wedding without taking a gift! Even if I was invited and I couldn't go, I would send a gift! That seems strange to me...
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    I would NEVER go to a wedding without taking a gift! Even if I was invited and I couldn't go, I would send a gift! That seems strange to me...

    That's certainly your choice. But no one else is required to make the same choice.

    It's not gracious to come off as "expecting" your guests to give you gifts-especially to "cover their plates." You made the choice to invite them and feed them. They don't owe you anything in exchange for that except their good spirits.
    [Deleted User]novella1186Blue_BirdSharpschruter22
  • Is it possible the gift hasn't arrived yet or got lost in the shuffle? 
    FI was in a wedding last year and spent lots of money attending two bachelor parties (one of them halfway across the country), a hotel room for us the night of the wedding, pricey tux, etc. We opted to give a different type of gift since they made it clear they didn't "need" money or physical gifts and instead we had an expensive bottle of champs and snacks waiting in their hotel room in Rome on their honeymoon, which they told us they very much appreciated after their long flight (and i'm now realizing they never sent a thank you, ha!). Maybe your guests are waiting to do something of the sort as well? There is always the 'Emily Post' etiquette of invited guests having one year post-wedding to send a gift. Regardless, no thank you needed if you have not received a gift.
  • kvrunskvruns member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer

    agree with others on the no note if they didn't give anything. We were married 4 weeks ago and have received 4 gifts since then (3 from people who attended).

    We had a small wedding so when we were making the list I can pretty easily list out who we didn't receive anything from. To be honest I was afraid that the cards got lost/misplaced since they are people I would assume would give something. Maybe they are sending something later, maybe they opted not to give anything at all - all of those scenarios are ok. If we receive something later I will send a thank you card, if not, no biggie.

    I've forgotten to give my gift before, either left it at home or left it in the car and then took forever to finally get it to the person. We didn't register so we received cards from almost all and it would be easy to forget. I will say part of me is still worried about the fact that something could be lost and I wont know unless someone mentions a check not being cashed.


  • kvruns said:

    agree with others on the no note if they didn't give anything. We were married 4 weeks ago and have received 4 gifts since then (3 from people who attended).

    We had a small wedding so when we were making the list I can pretty easily list out who we didn't receive anything from. To be honest I was afraid that the cards got lost/misplaced since they are people I would assume would give something. Maybe they are sending something later, maybe they opted not to give anything at all - all of those scenarios are ok. If we receive something later I will send a thank you card, if not, no biggie.

    I've forgotten to give my gift before, either left it at home or left it in the car and then took forever to finally get it to the person. We didn't register so we received cards from almost all and it would be easy to forget. I will say part of me is still worried about the fact that something could be lost and I wont know unless someone mentions a check not being cashed.

    Yeah, I kinda have the same fears. We were also married 4 weeks ago and we haven't received a gift from about a third of our guests. Some of these surprise me because they're people who I would have expected would be gift-giving types so I worry that an envelope got lost or stolen or something. Others are like my space-case younger brother who mentioned like 3 times that he's "gonna get something soon" but I know full-well that he won't, or my 20 year-old niece who spent every spare dime she had on gas just to drive to the wedding. But at the end of the day I know I can only sit back and see what happens because, as all the PPs have pointed out, you can't "expect" anything from your guests.
    JerseyBeachGal22kvruns
  • Jen4948 said:
    I would NEVER go to a wedding without taking a gift! Even if I was invited and I couldn't go, I would send a gift! That seems strange to me...
    That's certainly your choice. But no one else is required to make the same choice. It's not gracious to come off as "expecting" your guests to give you gifts-especially to "cover their plates." You made the choice to invite them and feed them. They don't owe you anything in exchange for that except their good spirits.
    To the bolded:  took the words right from my head...

    And you are feeding them because the reception is a thank you party to your guests for coming.  Since that and your greeting / thanking of each guest IS the thank you, no need to send a card.

    So, we've established that a reception is just a party; right?  When you host any other kind of party are you expecting gifts?  If you are, you're doing it wrong.  A wedding reception is no exception- at the end of the day it's still a party.

    If you look up the words "gift" and "present" neither definition includes "in payment of," "expectation," "requirement," etc. 

    [Deleted User]
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    You only need a thank you note for gifts. 

    Your attitude is gross. It's possible that people didn't give gifts because they picked up on your attitude. 
    [Deleted User]
  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    OP, @meganmackeigan, you may want to change your username. Ridiculously easy to find you online.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I wouldn't go to a wedding without a gift, either, but we had several people who didn't give us gifts. Just because you wouldn't do it doesn't mean the world has to follow suit.

    No, you don't need to send thank you cards to people who didn't give you gifts, but your attitude about them needs to change, or were you planning to just cut these people out of your life for this crime they committed against you?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • Was your wedding out of town for any of your guests? Were any of the presents "not received" from people in your bridal party? Sometimes the expense to attend a wedding far outweighs the expense of a gift. Being there should have been a gift enough.

  • You only need a thank you for gifts. If you feel like you want to send a thank you anyway, you can simply thank them for attending your wedding and celebrating with you.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2015
    You only need a thank you for gifts. If you feel like you want to send a thank you anyway, you can simply thank them for attending your wedding and celebrating with you.
    No, you don't a thank you for attending.  The reception is the thank you for attending the wedding ceremony. 

    OP - I also strongly suggest you change your user name to NOT be your real name.  Internet safety and all, ya know?
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    PPs are correct on both counts:

    1) You don't send a card just for attending.  Ideally you spoke to them in person and thanked them for attending.  The card is only for the gift.

    2) Your attitude is gross.  Your guests don't owe you a gift.  You don't know anybody else's financial situation.  Hopefully you invited them because you love them and wanted them to be part of your celebration, not in expectation of a gift.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • Are you serious?  You only send a thank you card if someone gives you a gift?  That just seems so contradictory to me.  

    I'm sending a thank you to everyone who comes to my wedding regardless of whether or not they show up with a gift.  I'm thanking them for coming and joining in our day and celebrating our union.  The thought of only sending a card if they brought us a gift just feels wrong all over.

    So OP, I would say send them a card that says "Thank you so much for joining in our special day.  It meant so much that you could be there with us.  It was great to see you and celebrate with you."  Or something along those lines.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Are you serious?  You only send a thank you card if someone gives you a gift?  That just seems so contradictory to me.  

    I'm sending a thank you to everyone who comes to my wedding regardless of whether or not they show up with a gift.  I'm thanking them for coming and joining in our day and celebrating our union.  The thought of only sending a card if they brought us a gift just feels wrong all over.

    So OP, I would say send them a card that says "Thank you so much for joining in our special day.  It meant so much that you could be there with us.  It was great to see you and celebrate with you."  Or something along those lines.

    So do you send thank you cards whenever someone comes to anything you host?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    [Deleted User]JCbride2015
  • AddieCake said:
    Are you serious?  You only send a thank you card if someone gives you a gift?  That just seems so contradictory to me.  

    I'm sending a thank you to everyone who comes to my wedding regardless of whether or not they show up with a gift.  I'm thanking them for coming and joining in our day and celebrating our union.  The thought of only sending a card if they brought us a gift just feels wrong all over.

    So OP, I would say send them a card that says "Thank you so much for joining in our special day.  It meant so much that you could be there with us.  It was great to see you and celebrate with you."  Or something along those lines.

    So do you send thank you cards whenever someone comes to anything you host?
    This.   If you're acting as a good hostess then you're showing thanks to your guests by showing them a good time, offering them food and beverages at no cost (they shouldn't have to pay for anything available), and making sure to spend some time with them.

    If you are having a destination wedding or one difficult to get to I might see the point in a TY note just for attending but technically they're totally unnecessary.   Old school etiquette fans actually know that they're supposed to send a TY note to the hosts after the event - not the other way around. 
    [Deleted User]
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